I’m screaming reading this interview with Asami Sugiura about her starring role in Kurando Mitsutake’s 2014 film Gun Woman because she says one of her main influences is the legend Reiko Ike! Asumi started off in porn before going mainstream with parts in the erotic action splatter films that blew up around the mid-late 2000s thanks to filmmakers like Noboru Iguchi and Yoshihiro Nishimura (so far she’s been in tons of the most notable ones: The Machine Girl, RoboGeisha, Mutant Girls Squad, Gothic & Lolita Psycho & Helldriver) not to mention starring in one of the main precursors to the genre, 2006′s Sukeban Boy. Reiko Ike likewise became a star in the early 70s due to her work in pink (erotic) films, in particular pinky violence films (many with a sukeban, or delinquent girl, theme) with titles such as Female Yakuza Tale, Terrifying Girls High School, Sex & Fury, and Girl Boss Guerilla, which very similar to Asumi’s choice in films were eroticized action films with over the top violence and female lead characters. Unlike most of the splatter films of this wave – which hit its peak from 2008-2010 – Gun Woman is a more serious affair and deals with a woman who is trained and modified by a scientist to enact his revenge which he goes about by “implanting gun parts in her body that she must later assemble and use to kill her target before she bleeds to death.” None of these movies have the best or even anything approaching good ratings, and very little regard, but for the niche audience who appreciates them beyond a way to kill 2 hours and can trace their lineage and inspiration, it’s probably as inspiring as it is to me to see one of the main stars of the modern wave acknowledge that. And I always love exploitation fans who act in exploitation and reflect that love in their roles.

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